Women entrepreneurs sell clothing and accessories on the social commerce app Meeshoo, which connects 13 million small businesses to customers across the country through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. According to the CEO of the startup, they are proud of the speed and scale with which they have evolved, positively changing millions of lives and promoting exponential learning along the way. Reliance is also rapidly expanding its presence in the e grocery business market through its JioMart online platform. The bigger question for multi-variety players is why would consumers order groceries from reseller networks rather than dedicated sites like BigBasket and Grofers.

Meshoo in the e-grocers shoe now?

The Bengaluru-based startup will focus on bringing small-time grocers in tier 2 and 3 cities online, competing with deep-pocketed behemoths like Amazon, Reliance, Facebook, Walmart-backed Flipkart, and BigBasket for a piece of India’s large unorganized retail pie.

Recently crowned unicorn and social commerce app Meesho intends to use funds from its most recent $300 million fundraise to join the highly contested online grocery market within the next 18 months.

The aim is to make it possible for all types of small businesses to go online. However, for the next 18 months, the primary focus will be solely on groceries. Their primary goal is to make Kiran available online.

The fast-growing e-commerce market in India is expected to expand by 30% per year to $200 billion by 2026. Further, the pandemic boosted e-grocery sales in the country as Indians started purchasing vital goods online in a bid to avoid catching the coronavirus.

The investor-favorite group blends India’s obsession with WhatsApp and Facebook with online shopping, but with a personal touch. This has emerged as a new hot topic of concern, with significant investments and many new entrants. However, social commerce, like any other e-commerce segment, has been sidelined by the ongoing pandemic. The investor-favorite party combines India’s fascination with WhatsApp and Facebook with online shopping, but with a human touch. With major investments and numerous new entrants, this has emerged as a new hot topic of concern. However, the current pandemic has pushed social commerce, like every other e-commerce category, to the sidelines. 

The Meeshoo Vision

According to a statement, the new investment valued the company at USD 2.1 billion and included participation from established investors Prosus Ventures, Facebook, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway, and Knollwood Investment. They plan to use the funds to expand its talent pool across multiple verticals, including technology, product, and company, among others.

According to the CEO of the startup they are proud of the pace and scale at which it has evolved, positively impacting millions of lives and fostering exponential learning along the way. SoftBank has now joined them in their new round of funding.

Their vision is to grow beyond assisting aspiring female entrepreneurs to become a single ecosystem that will enable all small businesses in India to succeed online. The business has seen tremendous growth in the last year among small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to migrate their businesses online.

The MSME approach

 The Organization’s new vision is to simplify e-commerce for all small businesses in India. It will assist them in developing a forum that is pro-small businesses, with policies and resources to assist even the smallest sellers in listing and doing business on Meesho, enabling small business owners to reach consumers across all online platforms.

‘Globally, SoftBank has always been excited to support entrepreneurs who provide innovative solutions for the local market.’ The startup has built a forum for many small business owners to sell to the next generation of internet users by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Doing What Works — Grocery Shopping

However social e-commerce startups such as Meesho, Shop101, Mall91, Shopmatic, DealShare, and others, like many other startups leveraging the hot sector of grocery, have also penetrated into this space to gain consumer attention and keep some revenue coming in. In stark contrast to the workforce additions at BigBasket, Grofers, and others, social e-commerce players have come under fire after some of the top players were forced to lay off workers and announce company-wide pay cuts.

This fast-growing startup, a social e-commerce portal, has entered the e grocery business distribution room to expand the scope of retailers selling vital items and ensure a continuous supply chain. He defined grocery as one of the largest small business formats in the country and stated that the team is attempting to bring Kirana online by providing services ranging from sourcing, logistics, and access to selection, product affordability, digitizing their stores, and enabling an easy shopping experience for customers. It will invest heavily in technology to make the process as simple as possible.

So far, online grocery has largely been a tier-1 phenomenon. In smaller cities, there are no major e-commerce grocery players. They’ll go after a large space,” he said. BigBasket, in which the Tata Group is rumored to be interested in acquiring a majority stake, and Amazon India offer same-day grocery delivery in major cities. With its JioMart online platform, Reliance is also rapidly expanding its presence in this e grocery business. The social network giant Facebook’s support is likely to assist Reliance in connecting grocers on its site to the 400 million-strong user base of Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

Meanwhile, Walmart-backed Flipkart has extended online grocery sales to more than 50 Indian cities and plans to grow to more than 70 locations by September 2021.

To meet the new targets, Meesho intends to expand its staff, especially in the technology and product positions, over the next two years. According to their comments, they intend to more than double their technology staff over the next year. They are seeking candidates from engineering schools across the country, including regional colleges.

Women entrepreneurs sell fashion and apparel products on the social commerce app, which connects 13 million small businesses to customers across the country through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The app’s goal is to hit 100 million unique businesses. It recently raised $300 million from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 at a $2.1 billion valuation.

Similarly, Shop101 promoted supermarket items on its app, with reseller deliveries ranging from 2-4 days. Delivery services from different brands have played an important role in either keeping companies going or allowing them to operate more efficiently.

The Organization also saw different categories of necessities on the Mall91 and DealShare websites, and the delivery timelines were identical in the range of 2-4 days. Mall91’s Gupta said that the business experimented with e grocery business in the beginning but has since stopped due to the challenges. For new entrants, ensuring supply is expected to be a bigger challenge. Especially since mom and pop shops have traditionally preferred walk-in customers.

The Big question

But the bigger question for players like Meesho, Shopmatic, and Shop101 is why will users come to reseller networks to order groceries rather than dedicated platforms like BigBasket, Grofers, or even get deliveries through Dunzo and Swiggy Genie from nearby Kirana stores? It was a question for which no social commerce platform had a response. Aside from groceries, another growing industry is gaming and digital media. Some social commerce sites have also introduced games such as Bubble Wrap and Ludo or quizzes to keep interested up. This raises the question of whether social commerce businesses are actually doing what works. If social commerce companies don’t keep users engaged throughout the lockdown, it will become hard for them to get the same users back to the platform. If this budding startup succeeds to overcome these marketing and customer loyalty challenges, it might reach its goal.

Let’s see if it works the Meshoo way!

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